The Corner

December 7, 2009

I finished David Simon’s The Corner it last night and found it more gripping than his Homicide. The nature and surrounding of his embedded reporting among the country’s lowest class, most addicted and hopeless populous made for engrossing journalism, and I thought that this was his best character study, outdoing of some of The Wire’s portrayals.

I ordered the DVD’s and will probably watch them later this week, but The Corner painted a picture of drug addicted Baltimore that was even more bleak and hopeless than The Wire could imagine to do. This is because The Corner didn’t have to spend 1/3 or 1/2 of its time addressing policing or government or the systems of drug dealers. Instead, it was 500 pages of what we knew as Bubbles, Michael, some Namond, some Cutty, etc.

After reading his work and watching The Wire twice, then consuming some of David Simon’s interviews and editorials, I’ve come to hold Simon in even higher regard than I did after closing The Wire and saying that it was the best television show of all time. Simon’s writing is so real and vivid, his grasp of street language is so precise and his ear is so attuned to nuance and realism. Then you get to think about the undertaking for this book – years spent with drug addicts, embedded journalism in what he so trenchantly defines as the world America left behind – and realize that it goes beyond authorship and into sociological and ethnographic research, taking form as a character study from one of our best contemporary writers.


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